Christians in Common
As every parent of two or more children can attest, the concept of “sharing” is a challenging one to convey. First, there are birthdays and Christmas when little Billy receives presents with his name on them. Billy’s interpretation: This gift is MINE. At some point, however, Billy will be asked to share his toy with a brother, sister, or playmate. Hmmm. Billy’s mental gearwheels spin at this point as he tries to figure out this “mine-but-not-always” idea. But he shares because he knows the toy is coming back—it is still HIS. But the parental flaw that breaks Billy’s back comes on the day when he is asked to give away a special toy to a needy child in the church’s Christmas gift ministry. Give it away? As in gone forever?
At this point, Billy is officially confused. His favorite toy has gone from mine to mine-but-not-always to mine-but-not-really. We would not fault Billy for calling a “time-out” and asking, “What’s going on? Would it be better for me not to get attached to anything in the first place?” At some point, Billy’s Mom will give him the answer: “Yes.” If Billy grasps this concept at the family level when he is young, he won’t have any problem with becoming a Christian in common with others.
The body of Christ is actually like a family. We have a heavenly Father, an older Brother (Rom. 8:29), and lots of other brothers and sisters—our peers in the faith. When the Holy Spirit was first poured out on believers (Acts 2), one of the first marks of the fellowship in the first faith-family was how they shared everything in common. In fact, the Greek word for fellowship—koinonia—literally means “that which is common.” As a believer, I share all things in common with my brothers and sisters in the church.
It’s a paradox actually. My Father gives everything to me, yet everything I have is not only for my welfare but that of the whole body of Christ—all my brothers and sisters. Sharing isn't easy; giving is even harder. But once the idea of commonality is embraced, living as a Christian in common with others becomes a unique experience.
God’s Promise to You: “My riches will never cease to fill the hand that remains extended to others.”